Orchestre Régional De Sikasso – Orchestre Régional De Sikasso (Mali Music – BM 30 L 2603)


Precious regional recordings capturing the various entrants into local Malinese music festival ‘The Best Of The First Biennale Of Arts And Culture For The Young’ in 1970.

One of the very best ethnographic series, the ‘Les Meilleurs Souvenirs De La 1ere Biennale Artistique Et Culturelle De La Jeunesse’ published by German institution Bärenreiter-Musicaphon is comprised of six separate releases, each focusing on an individual provincial orchestra group within Mali. Each group entered into national arts festivals to compete against other regional orchestras, celebrating their own language / dialects and displaying their localised slant on their national music with a heavy sense of civic pride.

It’s pure, undiluted music captured in its natural habitat, giving the feel of something genuinely timeless. Bluesy electric guitar lines pierce through laid-back hand-drums, relaxed trumpet notes and suspended vocals. Other pieces are more upbeat and exultant yet equally elaborate in the intricacy of composition and skill of the young musicians.

Record is EX / Sleeve is EX